Assembly Bill 543 and Senate Bill 413, authored by Rep. John Jagler (R-Watertown) and Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield), would prevent the legislature from holding a hearing on or taking a vote on legislation that creates new health care insurance mandates until after it has received a report from the Commissioner of Insurance.
Under current law, the Commissioner of Insurance is required to submit a report on the social and financial impact of any health insurance mandates. Social impact factors in such a report include:
- The portion of the state’s residents who use the treatments or services covered by the health insurance mandate
- The number of persons who would be eligible for coverage under the health insurance mandate
- The availability of insurance coverage for these persons without the health insurance mandate
- Whether the health insurance mandate may increase or decrease the costs of the treatments or services covered by the health insurance mandate
- The impact of the health insurance mandate on total costs of health care in this state
Currently, the Commissioner of Insurance is statutorily required to produce such reports, however the reports have been issued after the legislature has considered the legislation or, in some instances, no report was ever issued. In the rare circumstance in which the executive branch misuses the new procedural requirements included in AB 543 by delaying submittal of the report as a means of preventing legislative action, a “notwithstanding clause” could be added to any bill to ensure that the legislature maintains the functional right to pass a bill without executive branch encroachment.
AB 543 was unanimously passed by the Assembly on February 11. Its companion, SB 413, was passed by the Senate committee on Health and Human Services on a party line vote on February 3. Next step is for the Senate to concur in AB 543.